Summer is the Time for Exterior Home Maintenance

Deck Painting Wilmington NC

Our customers frequently ask us what time of year is the best for tackling certain exterior jobs such as painting, pressure washing, staining or sealing outdoor flooring and making general small repairs.

Although here in southeastern N.C. we experience some of the best weather in the country, we think that late spring/early summer is just about ideal for addressing your home’s exterior maintenance needs.

If you are considering a fresh coat of paint for your home’s siding and trim, giving it a good pressure washing beforehand serves several purposes. It will thoroughly clean all  of the surfaces, trim, steps, walkways, and  easily remove any flaking paint or stain.

Prep

Take it from us, prepping for an exterior paint job with pressure washing is quick, easy and mess-free! We have even had customers discover that their home was not due for a paint job at all; it just needed a good cleansing blast from the Colour Solutions team!

Paint

As for painting, the good news is that the pollen is gone and the temps are seasonably mild, yet sunny. Which means quicker drying times, plus the days are longer so there’s more time to complete the task. The same applies to staining and sealing wood decking and porch flooring.

Another pro is that the kids won’t be out of school for a few more weeks, so no little footprints should hamper the progress! Then, when those long, lazy summer days finally roll around, your place will be ready for full-on family enjoyment!

Spruce

Sprucing up your home’s exterior provides immediate gratification. However, please don’t neglect other “to-dos.” There are plenty of spots that fall into the “out of sight, out of mind” category. However, though they are not exactly exterior areas,  the attic, crawl space and basement needs your attention too.

No summer home maintenance check-list would be complete without this entry:

Check for Leaks and Rot

After the much more frigid and wetter than usual winter we had, it is imperative to check all the areas of your home for any signs of moisture, mold, mildew or rot. If that is out of your area of expertise, just give us a call. We have heard stories from more than one customer about the damage caused by burst pipes.

The unfortunate twist is that homeowners were often unaware there was a problem at all. Please remember that in addition to our usual services, we also do small repair jobs and are experienced in diagnosing issues before they get out of control.

Drier summer weather allows areas that are prone to moisture retention to dry out a bit. Thankfully, that makes it much easier to fix any problems that may have arisen. Replacing wood, fiberglass or insulation that shows signs of excessive dampness is the best way to remove mildew and dangerous mold from getting a foothold.

When you have the piece of mind that your home is impeccably maintained (maybe with a little help from Colour Solutions) it will be a snap to take in every available bit of summer fun: beach days, bike rides, boat trips, barbeques…
Please call 910-686-3067 to find out what we can do for you.

Winter Home Maintenance Checklist

House in Winter, Wilmington NCHarsh winter weather can be tough on a house. That is why routine maintenance during this time of year is critical. Not only can a few simple tasks keep your home looking its best, paying attention to certain details can also save you a bundle on future maintenance and your electric bill.

Please use the following checklist as a handy guide for wintertime “to-do’s”…

  • Either do a thorough inspection of your home’s exterior, or pay a professional to do it. The goal is to assure that the home’s roof and gutter system, windows and doors are all in excellent working order. The old-fashioned, yet tried and true method of testing window and door seals is to hold a lit candle inside the home near window or door seams. If it flickers quite a bit, that means cold air from the outside is rushing in!
  • Replacing the caulking and weather stripping around windows and doors makes a huge difference in how well they function. Because over time, building materials expand and contract with changes in temperature and moisture, caulk and weather stripping can pull away from the areas they were applied to. Caulk that has past its prime also tends to harden and become brittle.
  • The professional team from Colour Solutions will be happy to inspect your windows and doors to see it it’s time to replace the old caulk or weather stripping. Based on your home’s construction materials, they will also be able to recommend which products will be best for the job.
  • After new caulking is applied, there’s nothing to seal it in place better than a fresh coat of paint!
  • Sometimes caulking and weather stripping are just not enough. If advised, replace old or inefficient doors and windows with new EnergyStar approved ones. When doors and windows are not effectively blocking the cold air out and keeping the warm air in, it is challenging for your HVAC system to work properly. Failing to address such issues will likely result in higher than normal heating bills.

If you’d like to learn more about how our services can help your home be more energy efficient and looking its best, please give us a call at 910-686-3067.

First Impressions with Exterior House Painting

Exterior Painting for First ImpressionsHave you ever heard the expression, “What looks in, looks out”?

When it comes to a home’s exterior, perhaps truer words were never spoken. In addition to the usual question of general curb appeal, when a home’s outside presents a freshly painted and well-kept appearance, chances are the inside is also well maintained.

For homeowners, a clean, crisp exterior paint job can impart feelings of order and aesthetic balance, along with a little pride. This works wonders and can even boost one’s sense of well being! On the other hand, a place with peeling, faded siding and dingy trim, can make a heart sink. Furthermore, anyone considering a home’s appreciation potential or contemplating a future sale, will want to keep the exterior of their residence looking its very best. After all, a home is typically the largest single investment most individuals will ever make and maintaining, updating, and upgrading the property is an ongoing and rewarding process!

How do you feel when you arrive at your “Home Sweet Home”?

At Colour Solutions we can help you discover a variety of ways to put your home’s best foot forward. Sometimes all that’s needed is a quick pressure wash or touch-up paint job on the exterior trim, entryways or steps. Our staff of designers has years of experience in guiding our customers to paint and stain choices that will best suit their needs.

The weather in southeastern North Carolina can be tough on exterior finishes. The heat of summer, heavy rains and wind, salt air, plus the frequent humidity, may generate issues such as mold, mildew, and even accelerate the aging of some paints and stains. If it has been a while since you reviewed what’s available in the way of exterior paint and stain products, you’re in for a pleasant surprise. The team at Colour Solutions is equipped to offer suggestions including which products will perform their best to keep your home’s exterior looking fresh and new for years to come.

To arrange for a free estimate or consultation, just give us a call at 910-686-3067.

Spring is truly just around the corner, which is why now is the perfect opportunity to get your home looking its very best! We look forward to working with you in the future and encourage you to read what our many satisfied customers are saying about our services.

Exterior Trim – Color Choices and Replacement Options

Home exterior - spring cleaning.Think of your home’s exterior trim as you would an accessory, such as a necktie or scarf. The idea when choosing a paint or stain color is to compliment rather than detract or overpower the general appearance. The architectural style of the home is also a consideration. There are some styles, such as Colonials, Queen Anne Victorians or Arts and Crafts bungalows that follow a suggested color palette for achieving historical accuracy.  See: Classic Paint Colors Ideal for Wilmington NC.

For more traditional residences, a good rule of thumb is to pick a color that contrasts from the whole house color. For example, with homes painted in light shades like crisp white, pale gray, beige, or buttercream yellow, dark choices are popular such as black, cranberry, dark green, or gun metal gray. Another approach is to use trim colors that are either a few shades darker or lighter and in the same color family as the base shade. Earthy tones often look better with another only slightly contrasting natural color. For example, a tranquil moss green or rich beige could handle a trim choice that’s only a few shade variations from the base color.

Unless the neighborhood dictates which colors you may use, the bottom line is that trim color choices are a matter of personal taste. When in doubt, go for dark trim with a light background and light trim for a dark exterior shade. Of course, the designers here at Colour Solutions will also be happy to help guide you in the right direction!

Best Wood for Replacement Trim

When it’s time to freshen up a home’s exterior trim, a homeowner may discover that some of the wood needs replacing. The elements, along with mold, fungi, and mildew can wreak havoc on the thin strips of wood that trim your home.

Builders often prefer southern yellow pine (SYP), cedar, mahogany, and redwood for exterior trim. Although poplar is frequently used for interior trim, it simply can not withstand changeable temperatures and moisture for very long. There are also a wide variety of synthetic trims on the market these days. Before making a selection, it is advised to read reviews and discuss the matter with both a qualified builder and painter.

To maximize the life of the trim, it is advised to always prime it on all 6 sides.

Save time by having the experts at Colour Solutions handle your trim painting for you.  Give us a call today to learn more: 910-686-3067.

Beach House Paint Colors

Beach House Paint ColorsThe fall season is often a time of reflection for homeowners along the southeastern coast of N.C. Between Memorial Day and Labor Day the weeks are typically filled with trips to the beach, time on the boat, barbeques and numerous house guests.

When autumn finally rolls around, many who own coastal properties notice some serious sprucing up is in order. The summer heat and humidity can wreak havoc on your home’s painted surfaces, inside and out. At Colour Solutions, we agree with the old adage, that dollar for dollar, painting your home is one of the most cost-effective improvements you can make. With fall’s cooler temps and dryer air, perfect painting conditions are here, so why not freshen up your beach house with some favorite coastal color combinations?

For exteriors, classic choices are a solid winner. Along the beaches of N.C., lots of homeowners choose shades that blend and compliment their surroundings. Timeless matches are rich grays, sandy beiges, butter cream yellows, pale shades of sage and light blue, all paired with crisp, white trim.

Recently, there’s a trend to opt for the bold and cheerful Caribbean color schemes. Vibrant hues of pink, orange, aqua, blue, and yellow can totally transform an older beach cottage. Whimsical contrasting pops of color for the trim, doors, windows, and shutters, are also very popular.

To maintain an airy feel inside the home, light colors are always a good choice. Whitewashed walls with accents of bottle blue, sea glass green, beach sand, or pelican gray are effective for achieving cottage chic. Painted ceilings and floors are another easy way to make rooms bright and breezy.

The idea of painting old knotty pine paneling that is in some older beach houses, would make some cringe, however, there’s no better way to lighten up. The same goes for brick fireplaces and mantels. Changing the finish from tired red clay to serene oyster white works wonders and is an easy way to update.

For more ideas, we encourage you to schedule an appointment to discuss paint and stain options. Please call us today at 910-686-3067 or contact us online.

Let Colour Solutions Rejuvenate Your Cement Flooring!

Painted Cement FloorLet’s face it, no matter how much effort goes into achieving great curb appeal, the effect is lost when certain areas are not up to par. This is especially true of garage floors. Since many homes have entryways that are frequently accessed through the garage, it is important to keep those floors looking their best.

The cement and concrete surface areas in garages are prone to color irregularities and stains from oil leaks. The team at Colour Solutions knows just how to bring those floors back to life with pressure washing and a variety of coatings, paints and stains. Because there are so many products available for upgrading cement finishes, our painting pros can help you evaluate which ones would best suit your needs. In addition to completely freshening up a garage floor, painting or staining it also serves to hide flaws and tiny cracks.

We encourage you to visit our online gallery to see jobs we’ve completed in the Wilmington area. Along the Cape Fear coast, some of the most popular color choices for cement and concrete floors have been gray, terra cotta, green, white, and red. Regardless of which color you choose, rest assured that when we are done, it will look its best!

To learn more, schedule an appointment, or discuss paint and stain options, please call Colour Solutions at 910-686-3067.

How Does Humidity Affect Your Home’s Painted Finishes?

How Does Heat and Humidity Affect Your Home's Exterior?Most homeowners are aware that weather and changing temperatures can directly impact the wear and tear on their homes. However, the severe temperature dips and harsh precipitation associated with the winter months are what most homeowners focus on. Although in some parts of the country, the summers are warm and dry, there are many states in which high humidity and heavy amounts of rain wreak havoc on homes’ painted or stained finishes.

In the greater Wilmington area, the combination of high humidity and rain can wreak havoc on exterior materials such as wood, masonry, and metal.  Excessive moisture can result in mildew and algae. Check your exteriors for signs of these culprits and clean them a soon as possible. A solution of 2 parts water, one part bleach, and one part a mild detergent, such as Borax, is recommended.

If you live in or around Wilmington, NC, contact the experts at Colour Solutions to discuss which paints and stains are mildew-resistant and which ones are better suited for your application-oil-based or latex.  Colour Solutions will be able to match the best quality paint for your application for the ultimate protection and beauty of your home or business.

Be aware that moisture and humidity can creep inside and create problems for a home’s interior as well. Kitchens, bathrooms, and basements are the most susceptible. Rule out leaks or rotten wood to ensure that these issues do not get out of hand. For most homes that have a mild problem with interior humidity, a simple clean up and the ventilating with air conditioning, fans, or open windows, is all it takes.

If a DIY painting project is in your future, here are a few suggestions for success:

  • If it is not warm enough outside to dry laundry on a clothesline, it’s not warm enough to paint.
  • Wait before you paint if water splashed on cement does not dry quickly or in 15 minutes. You could also test this by brushing water on the area you want to paint or stain.
  • Light breezes are perfect, however, windy conditions can ruin your perfect application with tiny debris and cause the job to dry unevenly.
  • Do not paint outside in very hot weather or in direct sunlight. It can cause blistering. Painting “in front of the sun” is frequently suggested, which means painting in the direction the sun is moving, just ahead of its path.
  • Overcast, but warm days, with no chance of rain are ideal for exterior painting projects.
  • Before breaking out the brushes and drop cloth, call our team at Colour Solutions.  You may find that hiring the pros will be well worth the time and resources it saves you!  Plus, you’ll know that your home will look beautiful and the painting will done in a flash.

Call us today to request a quote or complete the form on the right side of this page: 910-686-3067

Replace Rotted Wood and Repaint Home’s Exterior

Say No to Wood Rot!

Don’t let this happen to your home!

Wood damage caused by rot can result in big headaches for homeowners. It is a tough issue to deal with because it can occur in so many areas, such as the structural timber, eaves, garage doors, entry doors, window casings, and anywhere else that wood was used in construction. Wood rot is most often attributed to pests, like termites or carpenter bees, and/or excessive exposure to moisture. Wood decay fungi, which are a common source of the problem, can only grow on wood with a high moisture content.  That’s why the key to prevention is to  use paints, primers, and stains with moisture barriers.

Homeowners faced with wood rot will want to have an experienced professional assess the situation before proceeding with a replacement project. The root of the problem must be determined before any work takes place to ensure the wood rot is eliminated once and for all. Ongoing leaks or the presence of wood-eating pests are usually the culprits.

After the cause has been eliminated, the replacement wood should be primed on all six sides before it is installed. Sealing all 6 sides with primer, or “back-priming,” is necessary to hopefully keep this from happening again. Our painting professionals at Colour Solutions would be happy to discuss which products are best suited to your job.

Ongoing and preventative maintenance are also vital in keeping wood rot at bay. Cleaning your home’s exterior, along with re-caulking and painting every three to seven years is a step in the right direction. Exterior paints and stains are like your home’s coat of armor against the elements. Failing to paint or stain the exterior and trim on a regular basis can set the stage for further damage. It is vital to apply a sealant regularly to the timber used on decks and porch flooring so moisture and rot will not set in.

Take control of your preventative home maintenance by getting on a schedule with Colour Solutions painting company based in Wilmington, NC.  Don’t let your house painting go by the wayside – contact Colour Solutions for a free quote today! 910-686-3067

6 Ways to Freshen Up Your Home’s Exterior

Freshen Up Your Home's ExteriorSummer is the perfect time of year for outdoor gatherings, and the perfect time to pay extra attention to your home’s exterior. Perhaps you went all out during the spring cleaning regime to get your home’s outside areas ready for family gatherings, barbeques, or lazy afternoons by the pool? By mid-summer, it’s often time to give it another go so everything will remain fresh and inviting through Labor Day. Here’s a handy checklist to ensure that your home is striding through summer, with its best foot forward:

1. Pressure Washing – Check exterior areas to see if a thorough pressure washing is in order. This is also a must-do activity prior to painting or staining.

2. Exterior Paint – Whether you decide to paint the entire exterior or just the trim, the summer is an excellent time for these projects. Warm mornings and more light in the evenings make it easy to work these projects into your summer agenda. Just read the labels of the products carefully to ensure that you are using them under ideal conditions. Or, better yet, call the experts at Colour Solutions and let them take care of your house painting projects!

3. Windows and Entryways – Pay attention to the windows and entrances. Have summer showers splashed dirt and grime on these areas? In spite of any spring-cleaning that was done, by mid-summer it’s likely time for an encore. Sparkling windows and clean entryways equal (almost) instant gratification.

4. Outdoor Furniture – The previous point holds true for outdoor furniture, grills, and outdoor kitchens. Give them all a good scrub down and see if any touch-up jobs are called for. There are innovative paints for both metal and plastic that can breathe new life into tired finishes. Protecting those surfaces by sealing them with paint also prevents rust, mold, and mildew. And…you may be ready for a little pizzaz-wouldn’t that old chaise look amazing with a coat of flamingo pink paint?

5. Deck Sealing – Is it time to reseal, paint or stain your porch or deck? The warm summer sun can speed up the curing process, which is vital to preserving the wood and keeping it looking great.

6. Decorations and Extras– Could your home’s exterior use a few extras? After the 4th of July, lots of “summer living” items are on sale big time. Surely you could use a few things such as: a new doormat, pretty pillows or cushions for outdoor furniture, solar walkway lights, wind chimes, a hurricane candle for your picnic table, or fresh blooms for your front porch containers?

Remember that the additional TLC you give your home’s exterior has big payoffs. Along with improving curb appeal, freshening things up also gives your home extra protection against the harsh moisture and humidity of summer.

Classic Paint Colors Ideal for Wilmington NC

Historic Wilmington NC HomeOne of the greatest things about Wilmington is its colorful landscape – from the sandy browns and cool blues of the beach to the soft pinks and lush greens of downtown’s historic homes, Wilmington is a vibrant place with a great mix of color. If you’re thinking about giving your own home a classic Wilmington-inspired look, here are a few color ideas to consider:

Historic Colors
Some ideas: Confederate Grey, Honeysuckle Yellow, Soft Sky Blue, Candlewick Beige, Soft Rose

Locals and visitors alike are drawn to the beauty and charm of the Wilmington Historic District. The century-old buildings and old-fashioned homes make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time, to the antebellum days of horse-drawn carriages and brick-paved streets. One of the coolest things about historic downtown is the abundance of beautifully restored homes. These homes are perfect examples of historic color. A quick stroll down any of the streets in the historic district, and you’ll see a variety of traditionally historic colors. From soft yellows to cool blues to hazy greys, Historic Wilmington’s color palette evokes the ambiance of the Old South while preserving the look of today.

Coastal Colors
Some ideas: Sea Foam Green, Sand Castle Beige, Driftwood Brown, Sea Glass Green

Coastal colors are typically soft, muted shades of green, blue and brown, but fortunately, you don’t have to be restricted too much when it comes to choosing a color that’s reminiscent of Coastal North Carolina. When you think about the colors of Wrightsville Beach, for example, you might also think about the brightly colored kayaks you’ve seen going through the channel or the bright blue roof of Bluewater Grill. You could even have the best of both worlds by choosing a lighter, more neutral color for your home’s exterior and complement it with some bolder, brighter color for the doors and shutters. Maybe a sandy beige exterior with turquoise shutters would help your coastal home “fit in.”

Bold Colors
Some ideas: Azalea Pink, Tomato Red, Wilmington Hammerheads Blue

Want to give your home a Wilmington-inspired color that will really catch people’s eye? Why not go bold? As most of you may know, Azaleas are a common sight here in Wilmington and are sort of a trademark for the area. The bright pink and vibrant purples of these shrubs’ flowers can evoke feelings of cheer, warmth and energy. (Just make sure your home owner’s association will approve such a dramatic color choice!) Likewise, bright reds are becoming a popular choice for homes, particularly for interior rooms and exterior accents like doors and window shutters. Choose a bright, hearty red – one that reminds you of a fresh summer tomato or bell pepper (common sights in many Wilmington residents’ gardens). If pinks and reds aren’t your favorites, why not go for the opposite end of the color wheel and pick out a bright, bold blue. A bright aqua blue would not only be pleasing to the eye, it would be a great nod to the local soccer team, the Wilmington Hammerheads!

Want more ideas for your home’s color makeover? Contact Colour Solutions today for a free consultation and project quote: (910) 686-3067.